Part Three: Communicate
You have something to say; say it clearly,
directly and simply.
Say it Clearly - What you have to say
can be communicated clearly to your reader by being careful in
your use of sentence types and following a standardized
While a mixture of simple, compound and
complex sentences (see Steck-Vaughn Language Exercises for
Adults Levels G and H) is stronger writing stylistically, only
use these two latter types when you have mastered their form
and their use has become automatic.
The first type, the simple sentence, has, in
contrast, the beauty of being both easy to master and rarely
The other clarity aid is format. The format
of, for example, the four- or five-paragraph essay will help
you keep your points in order, and keep you from wandering
When each paragraph can illustrate only one
point, you quickly see how limited your are by each topic
sentence, the more so as each topic sentence has to support
your thesis. Following the format will help your essay to be
Say it Directly – Conventions such as
punctuation and sentence structure help ensure you are being
direct in your writing. Never be afraid to end one sentence
and start a new one. Too often our sentences go on and on when
a simple period could end your sentence crisply and allow the
reader to focus on the next point.
Remember, what is clear to you may not be to
your reader: allow the reader to catch up to your thought
processes. Keep your sentences – and your essay – moving
forward to a memorable, well-expressed conclusion.
And in terms of sentence structure, one idea
per sentence, as per the simple-sentence type noted above, can
be a simple way to avoid numerous problems and ensure you are
being direct .
Say it Simply – This is where we look
at the essay core: meaning. How do we convey meaning best? By
example. When I write, I am aware of how much words do not
say. While, as noted above, we often think that what we write
is clear, simple, even obvious, usually this is not an
accurate picture of our communication.
As words can be interpreted many different
ways, give an example for every reason or point you give. This
will ensure that what you mean to say is what is “heard”. A
short example to illustrate each and every point is the
simplest way to writing success. If it is true that we write
to “make meaning”, do that simply by example.
For further information on the essay, see
any edition of
Evergreen: A Guide to Writing and
further information on the
The Essay Part One or
The Essay Part Two
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